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Submission + - Iraq War Ends. Did the US Win? 7

Hugh Pickens writes writes: "As the last American troops exit Iraq, two questions come to mind: Was the war worth it? And did the US, in any sense, win? "The two questions, of course, are related: The first concerns cost, the second benefits," writes Fred Kaplan. "However you do the calculation, it’s clear that the decision to invade Iraq was a major strategic blunder—and that the policies we pursued in the early months of the occupation tipped the blunder into a catastrophe." After Paul Bremer issued Order No. 1 barring members of the once-ruling Baathist party from holding any but the lowliest of government jobs and Order No. 2 disbanding the Iraqi army, tens of thousands of Iraqis, most of them young men with weapons were turned out into the streets, officially disenfranchised and, in many cases, eager to rebel against the agents of their fate. An insurgency arose and there were no Iraqi security forces to clamp it down. But Bush changed course dramatically at the end of 2006 ordering a “surge” of 20,000 extra troops in support of a new counterinsurgency strategy, a gamble that paid off as many Sunni leaders—beginning in Anbar province, which had been one of Iraq’s most violent sectors—suddenly realized that the foreign jihadists, with whom they’d struck an alliance, formed a bigger threat than the American occupiers, and so they turned to the U.S. troops for help. The good news is that there is now a functioning Iraqi government. "The means and institutions do exist for resolving these problems mainly through politics," concludes Kaplan but "failure to resolve the disputes in the halls of politics may spur the most militant constituents—of whom there are many—to revive their armed struggles in the streets.""
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Iraq War Ends. Did the US Win?

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  • by Wonko the Sane ( 25252 ) * on Saturday December 17, 2011 @06:17PM (#38411642) Journal
  • It needs to be noted that the Surge didn't actually solve any of the underlying issues. While it did effectively drive a wedge between ultra-conservative Sunni nationalists and Al Qaeda infiltrators, it often did so by *bribing* former terrorists into complacency, and as thus cannot truly be considered a victory.
  • 1 - Sure the US won the war, but it hasn't won piece. WWII was an unqualified success because the Allies won the War and then won the Piece with German, Japan and Italy. However Iraq today is quickly becoming an Ally to Iran, how can that be considered winning the piece ? And the Taliban will quickly come back on Afghanistan once the US leaves. Afghanistan and its northern neighbors has been a thorn on every military power that attempted to conquer it in the last 2000 years, nobody managed it.

    2 - You can't

    • by tibman ( 623933 )

      Iraq is becoming an Ally to Iran? That's not the Iraq i remember

    • 2 - You can't win the piece if the war puts you on an almost irreversible economic crisis. The US is broke due to the Iraq + Afghanistan + Bush misguided economic policy + the rise of China, when its said and done and an honest accounting of the real economic cost of both wars is done, its financial tool will be in excess of 2 trillion dollars. It costs US$ 1,000,000 per soldier per year deployed in Afghanistan, the US doesn't know and doesn't want to fight a war on the cheap.

      Talking heads were saying that the entire war in Iraq cost $800B. The U.S. is currently over spending what it takes in by $1,500B a year. While the war in Iraq certainly was a mind-numbingly dumb thing to do, our economic problems go way beyond Iraq+Afghanistan+Bush+China. At this point Bush is just an excuse for irresponsible budgets.

      • The overspending is a consequence of the whole situation.
        Cutting spending irresponsibly at this point will skyrocket US unemployment and cause a long recession or even a depression. Some cuts here and there might be ok, but it needs to be done carefully.
        It wasn't Obama that made irresponsible tax cuts, also the Housing bubble wasn't created by Obama.
        Besides the overspending comes non stop since at least the Vietnam War times (if not even before that).
        Stupid was the last congress that saw a budget surplus an

        • It wasn't Obama that made irresponsible tax cuts, also the Housing bubble wasn't created by Obama.

          No. The housing bubble is the direct result of sub-prime loans that were legalized under the Clinton administration and the idiotic banking regulation that Barney Frank forced via Freddie and Fannie. No industry -- without direct government interference -- would have loaned money out to people who couldn't pay it back at interest rates that were below market value.

          I note that Obama is trying to continue the Bush tax cuts - but only for large voting blocks -- stating that hiking taxes at this time would

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.